The Stars come in to Nationwide tonight as the Jackets look to finally punch through for win #2 on the season.
If you're entertaining any serious notion of playoffs this season for Columbus, you have to think tonight starts to enter into "must win" territory. A regulation win would push the Jackets to even with the Stars in the standings and right now that's a big jump. In other words, there are a lot of teams playing a lot of games and there's going to be a pretty big log-jam; better to be out in front of it than trying to climb over it from the back.
The Stars get Jamie Benn back for tonight's game, but lose Derek Roy to injury. Kari Lehtonen--he of the career 1.78 gaa and .940 save % lifetime against Columbus--will be in net for Dallas. The Jackets have been struggling to score against everyone; they've always struggled against Lehtonen. That's not a good recipe for success.
Columbus continues to be without Cam Atkinson, who is on IR with a lower-body injury. They'll need some other guys to step up (looking in your direction, Derick Brassard and R.J. Umberger...). Sergei Bobrovsky takes the cage tonight for the Jackets.